July 20, 2015

Obstacles: The Orange Cone Zone

I am getting excited about what is possible, seeing what needs to be done and working the steps to reaching my goals and then BAM! I hit a construction zone I was not expecting, with orange cones everywhere and traffic down to one lane moving at 25mph. Ugh. Why?! First off, that has happened to you too, yes?! I know I am not alone.

I have had a few clients who on week one make great plans for changing or adjust here and there, pretty certain this is going to work. If it does it will be sweet and moving them to reach the goals they were hoping to reach by making taking the steps they planned. Then life happens and everything you thought that would be easy to adjust gets readjusted by a phone call or a friend asking for help or you overslept and got started late. Day One and you cannot seem to make the steps happen no matter how you try.

Obstacles. They are the orange cones in an otherwise awesome road trip. They can create discouragement before your goals or dreams even get off the ground. Don’t you think we should work through what their sources could be and ways to overcome them so you can reach those goals and have those dreams come true? Me too.

Here are some sources of your “orange cones”:

  1. Internal: Self-talk; Fears; Doubts; Lies you have believed about the circumstances, relationship, or your abilities.

  2. External: Others-family, friends, co-workers; Finances; Education; Health; Time; where you live

Here are some questions to work through these “orange cones”:

  • What is the critical voice in your head saying about this situation?

  • What kind of fears do you have about going toward your dreams/goals?

  • What resources or support do YOU need to be able to move forward on this?

  • What sacrifices need to be made to create energy or make room for that to happen in your life?

  • Who in your life needs to get on board? How will YOU create space for that to happen?

  • What would you LOSE that is important to you if you did change?

  • What is the worst case scenario? What is the best case scenario?

  • How does your perspective need to change to see the opportunity and take action?

You will notice the first obstacle is myself (internal) – my self talk, my beliefs about the situation, the fears of “what if”?. Other times I get in the way by liking status quo more than creating change, because the status quo is doing something for me. It is a cocoon that feels safer even with awesome stuff sitting out there on the horizon enticing me. You need to explore the source of your fears, your doubts, your lack of motivation, so you can become all the Lord wants for you to become. Do you trust Him and what do you need to know about Him to step out of the comfort of the boat onto the water?

Other times it is the lack of resources or information you didn’t realize you needed when you made your plans. What do you need to learn? How much money will this take and how long will it take to save it, etc? Followed on the heals of that is lack of support from others around us who don’t see the vision or have doubts about the outcome. They need to be made aware of what your goals are and why these goals are important to you and what you need from them so that this can work. Conversation, scheduling when you will do this, how it will impact them, how they can be supportive.

Then there are all those really great things you are already doing. You love to do so many things. People around you need help – husband, family, church, neighbor. Work to pay bills. Going back to school or changing jobs. Book clubs, quiet time, kid’s sports, church events, exercise, bills to pay, walking the dog, mowing the yard, weeding the garden, sleeping, eating. The list goes on and on and on and on and on. This requires weeding through and making lists of: need to do, want to do, should do, asked to do. Go back over it and ask some values, impact, passions, and strengths questions to evaluate, prioritize, and weed out this list to get it to a place where it leaves you with energy and time to pursue the goals and dreams you have created steps to reach, but have run out of time, energy, resources or motivation to act on. Some things need to be delegated, others need to be dropped for a time- or forever. Think about what you value – does this thing/activity support my values, is it the best use of my gifts or strengths at this time, am I just going through the motions or am I really passionate about this, what impact on family and friends is it having?

The orange cones should only be an obstacle for a short time while the way is being made smooth and clear for a good road toward all the Lord has for you. Knowing how to work through and have the correct perspective on obstacles, enables us to do what we can while allowing the Lord to do what He will through us as He prepares the path ahead. In the end, if this dream/goal is of the Lord, saying yes to what will make it happen and no to what gets in the way, will clear the way for the very best He has for you and the people He wants to impact for His kingdom through you. If you are unavailable because of fear, doubt, criticism, busyness, then who will be doing what YOU were created, called, and equipped to do?

Get out your pencil and process, on your knees and pray, then up on your feet to go where He is directing you to go!